Bad news for the “NAV doomsday preppers”, who in the past few months have been looking forward to the end of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. I must confess there was a stressful period for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partners around the world, with some losing Sales to competing products. I personally was not worried about this at all, having worked with Dynamics NAV for the past 18 years I knew that Microsoft in their right minds would not end the life cycle of such a wonderful product and with over one hundred thousand customers running some version of Dynamics NAV, it was likely they would come to their senses and create a path for NAV.
So, Microsoft released NAV2018 during the first week of December 2017, with their eye on moving NAV towards a fully cloud based ERP with modifications being done as extensions. For those of you who are not technical, extensions refer to the way the system can be modified for a particular purpose without modifying the core of the product. This allows for different companies to share the same objects and database and use different modifications that suit each business’ specific needs. To put it simply, this is the intermediate step towards developing a fully cloud based environment which will allow for Microsoft to offer Dynamics NAV in the cloud in a similar to Dynamics CRM, now known as Dynamics 365 for Sales.
As a business looking into the future, it makes sense to start thinking about upgrading/moving your ERP system to Microsoft Dynamics NAV2018 and related 365 products. Given the amount of money that Microsoft spends on research and development, even if you are running on a different product, it might be worth while considering moving to a Microsoft based environment. Microsoft have been busy building an ecosystem of products to help your business succeed. With the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem, users can perform all business operations in an integrated environment which means more accurate information flowing through your business. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV built to integrate with Dynamics365 for Sales, Service, Power BI, Excel and Outlook to name a few, users now have the ability to work more efficiently and effectively with access to all the necessary information, this means more informed decisions are made on behalf of the business.
As Dynamics NAV transitions from the 2018 to Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” I have no doubt that for most users this will become the leading product under the Microsoft ERP flagship. One thing that users of Dynamics NAV2018 should not worry about is the continuing support and release of an on-premise version. Microsoft intends to keep both the cloud and on-premise versions of the product even when the upgrade to Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” is complete. My view is, if you plan on keeping your on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, run it on Microsoft Azure Cloud. While it will take time for some customers to have trust in running their ERP in the cloud, the reality of it is that Microsoft Azure is built to provide a higher level of security than most on-premise servers. The other main fear that most businesses have is a presumed lack of control of data, which in itself is a valid point, however what most don’t understand is that Microsoft are only managing your data for you, you are still in control.I would like make a bold prediction about the future of businesses especially those small to medium business that are looking for growth. If your business is not running on an ERP that gives you efficiency like Dynamics NAV2018 soon to be Dynamics 365 “Tenerife” and insights with supporting ecosystem, you risk being left behind by both competition and your customers.